Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi - review

Fuzzy Nation
John Scalzi

cover - the cover is great.  There is the guy's skimmer in the background, the branches of a tree the house is built in, the little fuzzy being...only thing missing in this cover is Carl the dog.  Carl the dog plays a huge part in this novel.
**there is an excerpt link for the first two chapters under the cover.  On the title, there is another link for the third and fourth chapters of Fuzzy Nation.  Check it out.**
Fuzzy Nation is a book about Jack Holloway, his dog Carl, and a previously undiscovered animal on a mining planet.  Jack Holloway is a prospector of the future, a prospector who prospects on planets owned by a huge conglomerate.  He gets a small percentage of whatever finds according to whatever contract he's able to wrangle out of this huge conglomerate...
Jack Holloway is also an asshole.  He's a former lawyer turned prospector.  He also happens to be a former boyfriend of the company biologist - there is bad history there.  This is important later on.  Holloway also lets his dog set off explosives...

One day, while he and his dog Carl are setting explosives, looking for something to mine, he accidently blows up too much of a mountain, gets fired, then right after he's fired he discovers a rich vein....gets a new contract...things get complicated here.  But bottome line - he stands to make a lot of money and the conglomerate stands to make trillions.

Later he goes home and finds out his treehouse has been broken into.  Only there's no person there - but a small fuzzy cute little animal.  For some reason, instead of letting his dog chase the little thing out of the cabin, he ends up feeding it, then over the next few days becomes a sort of acquaintance of this fuzzy.  His dog makes great friends.  He also thinks maybe there's more to this being than meets the eye, so he lets his ex-girlfriend know it might be sentient...which sets off a whole slew of problems and adventures.

I had lots of fun reading this book.  Holloway went from selfish asshole to champion within this book.  Where another author might have had the character win the girlfriend back, this doesn't happen in this book.  Instead he meets the woman's new boyfriend and they sort of become friends.  Interesting.  This book is flowing right along, some funny situations,  Jack is being an ass and then suddenly - BOOM! tragedy.  I became SAD!  I don't like to get sad, but I forgive Scalzi, because this is, afterall a good book.  And Holloway made quite a transition....

So - evil conglomerate, driven bigwigs (another name for CEOs), possibly new sentient being, horrible evil badguy employees, asshole main character turned okay guy, and other decent characters all combined to make an outstanding book with great interactions and a very satisfying ending.  Scalzi notes that he got the idea for this novel from a novel by H.Beam Piper called Little Fuzzy.  Now I want to read this.  Hope it's as good as Fuzzy Nation. :) 

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